Richland County At-Risk Youth Program Featured on A&E TV Show

An episode of "Beyond Scared Straight" will show how the program aims to keep at-risk youth out of trouble.

Grueling physical challenges. Deputies screaming orders. Food from a paper bag. A hard bench for a bed inside four cinder-block walls.

That's the life Richland County teens experienced during their overnight stay in a prison cell as part of the sheriff's department's R.E.A.D.Y Program

The program, which stands for Richland County Educating and Deterring Youth, will be featured in an episode of A&E's "Beyond Scared Straight" at 10 p.m. on Dec. 8. The show profiles jail-deterrence programs aimed at keeping teens across the nation out of prison. 

Richland County parents of youth with behavioral problems can enter their teens into the R.E.A.D.Y Program in hopes of giving them a "reality check." Students between ages 12 and 16 can stay overnight in a jail cell at the Richland County Courthouse. 

At the end of their stay, officers from the Richland County Sheriff's Department Gang Unit talk to the youth about how to avoid a real trip to jail.

Parents have to pay a $10 administrative fee to cover the cost of a jumper, a snack and breakfast. 

For more information about the program call Investigator Gerald Walls at 803-518-4127. 

For more information about the show "Beyond Scared Straight," visit the A&E website

David Young February 16, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Beyond Scared Straight is such a great show.. This is about transforming the lives of young people through intervention and second chances.. Hope this program can really help parents with a struggling youth or at risk youth that needs help in school or home.. This site (http://www.atriskyouthprograms.com) offers online resource for anything you need to know about at-risk youth.
Tiffany Barkley (Editor) February 16, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Hi David. Thanks for the extra resource! I just watched my first episode of Beyond Scared Straight last night and was really impressed with the show and the at-risk youth program. It seemed like it was pretty effective.
Latia Webster December 26, 2012 at 07:02 PM
R.E.A.D.Y program is great! To see the children's transformation within a day is amazing! It's great to see programs such as this that truly care and fight our future leaders! I will continue to support this show!
Grendal Bland May 04, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I love what this program stands for. We need more of these. It truly takes a village to raise a child. I hope that this program continues and expands into helping our youth because they need HELP... My desire is to assist with such programs as these. The focus is on our fatherless boys which is a problem, but so is fatherless girls and the choices that they make as well. We can work together to help our children and families...


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